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Before it launched in January, biotech startup EQRx wasn’t quite large enough to justify leasing — and paying for — a full office, let alone a standard 30,000-square-foot lab space. Founders Alexis Borisy and Melanie Nallicheri were running the firm out of their homes. 

But potential investors and new hires generally want an address and a conference room — so EQRx made a common, temporary compromise: It subleased some desks and conference rooms from another biotech firm that had signed up for more space that it needs.


The Boston area has carefully cultivated a reputation as the cradle of early-stage biotechnology companies. But as dozens of biotechs are launching or spinning out every year, the vacancy rate for commercial lab spaces around the city has plummeted to almost zero percent, according to a recent report from Cushman and Wakefield, two commercial real estate brokers. 

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